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E-waste issues and measures in the Philippines

TitleE-waste issues and measures in the Philippines
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsPeralta GL, Fontanos PM
Journal TitleJournal of Material Cycles & Waste Management
KeywordsE-waste estimation, Electronic waste, Philippines
AbstractThe continuous dependence on electronic equipmentat home and in the workplace has given rise to anew environmental challenge: electronic waste. Electronicwaste, or e-waste, refers to electronic products that nolonger satisfy the needs of the initial purchaser. These caninclude a wide variety of goods, such as computers, cellularphones, TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, washingmachines, and video cameras. These pieces of equipmentcontain hazardous materials such as lead, beryllium,mercury, cadmium, and chromium that pose both an occupationaland environmental health threat. Although electronicequipment is considered safe during use, the potentialfor release of the toxic constituents increases during storageor disposal. Because of the growing number of discardedelectronic devices resulting from rapid product obsolescence,this type of waste is an emerging concern amongdeveloping countries. This study estimates the currentand future quantity of e-waste in the Philippines, with afocus on televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, washingmachines, and radios. Data from the National StatisticsOffice (NSO) serve as the input to a simple end-of-lifemodel for each type of electronic device. Mathematicalequations are derived incorporating other factors, such asthe number of electronic devices in use, current end-of-lifemanagement practices, serviceable years of the product, anddisposal behavior of consumers. An accurate estimation ofe-waste generation would be useful in policy making as wellas in designing an effective management scheme to avoidthe potential threats of health impacts or environmentalpollution. Preliminary estimates show that at the end of2005, approximately 2.7 million units became obsolete andabout 1.8 million units required landfilling. Over a 10-yearperiod from 1995 to 2005, approximately 25 million unitsbecame obsolete. An additional 14 million units are projectedto become obsolete in the next 5 years.
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